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February 4, 2019

Trump Administration Broadens "Buy American" Rules to Infrastructure

Trump Administration Broadens

President Trump signed an executive order on January 31 expanding Buy "American" requirements to infrastructure projects that receive federal financing support.

"Buy American" requirements generally apply to direct federal purchases of goods or products through contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders and subawards.

White House Advisor Peter Navarro said the administration wants to close gaps in existing regulations that allowed agencies to bypass the "Buy American" rules.  

“If an agency like the Department of Transportation spends money directly on the construction of a road or a bridge or some other piece of infrastructure, Buy American generally comes into play," said Navarro. "But if an agency provides indirect support through this federal financial assistance such as loans, loan guarantees or grants, Buy American may not apply."

According to Navarro, "Buy American" requirements did not apply to 200 of 265 infrastructure projects that received federal financing in 2016. The 200 projects were spread across 14 agencies and had a total value of $45 billion.

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